Good Life

Fathering: Watching my son-in-law become a father

A few months ago, my son-in-law became a father. I would bet that for most men, the birth of their first child is a high point. Most new fathers, if they didn’t have them already, begin to construct their dreams and ambitions for the small, frail creature in their arms.

It’s easy to dream about what you would like for them to do — become a football player, play soccer, go to college, have a family. While these things are important, they are not the most important goals for our children.

What matters more than what they will become, is who they will become. My “dream” for my son-in-law is that he will keep his “eye on the ball” when it comes to encouraging, developing and living out the kinds of character traits in his daughter that matter the most.

Action ideas

• Who was the most significant role model for you growing up? In what ways did they shape who you are?

• Be a role model. It’s advice that you have probably heard repeatedly. There is a reason for this: Who you are is the origin of the most significant life lessons your child will learn.

• Teach your children about your heroes. Who do you know that has the character traits you most admire, and wish your children would develop as they grow?